I will come clean, I was not having a good time with The Serpent Rogue. The game does not hold your hand at all and leaves you to figure out most of the mechanics on your own. The mechanics are not that complex or obtuse and it doesn’t take much time to get the general gist of things but it was still a frustrating experience in the beginning for me.
As best as I can understand it, the game combines elements of exploration and collecting objects with combat encounters. You go around the world collecting plants, minerals, and whatever objects you can find. These objects are mostly used to craft potions which can be sold for gold or used in combat to defeat enemies.
It’s a slower paced game where it rewards players with enough patience and the willingness to experiment and figure things out on their own. It wasn’t my cup of tea, mainly because it took a little too long to learn the mechanics. A little bit of guidance and a clear objective at the start would have made the game more enjoyable for me. I enjoy the process of experimenting with the mechanics and learning to express myself in the game as I gain mastery over those mechanics. That is where I want the bulk of my time to be spent on. If it takes too long to just learn the mechanics in the first place, playing the game can feel more like a chore rather than something that is supposed to be fun.
Once I did get a better grasp of the game, it still felt tedious to play in my opinion. Running around and blocking damage requires stamina and your max stamina meter is always decreasing slowly over time. It can be replenished by eating food but food is a bit hard to find in the beginning. This just means that you will always have low stamina. Not only that, if you manage to die in the game, you will loose all your stamina. This felt annoying to deal with.
Not only that, the game slows down the rate at which you can explore by having periodic storms block off access to areas. This storm will constantly damage you until you exit the area so it won’t be possible to explore fully until the storm is over. This slows the pace of the game down even further. I actually enjoyed searching every nook and cranny and seeing what the world had to offer but this storm nonsense felt more like an interruption to my fun rather than some skill based obstacle. You end up waiting for the storm to be over, so all it does is make you waste time.
Speaking of wasting time, the combat is so slow and tedious that I would rather not engage with it if possible. Your character has one attack and a charged attack at the very start and a block. The enemies usually have two moves, one melee attack and one area of effect attack. The movements are very slow, for both you and the enemies, so you end up waiting for the enemy to attack, moving out of the way, counter attacking, and then repeating this for what feels like an eternity. It’s not really fun because it’s just repetitive and tedious rather than skill based. You can just throws potions at them but then you have to gather enough ingredients to craft enough potions which wastes more time.
This game definitely wasn’t for me and I was not enjoying my time with it at all but I can understand the people that may enjoy it. The game is definitely more on the chill side and I can see how one could enjoy meandering through the world just collecting resources and crafting potions over a long period of time. That would definitely make the combat encounters much more easier and quicker to deal with. I just don’t have the patience for that. Also, the lack of direction and guidance did seem to increase immersion for those that enjoyed the game. It’s definitely more satisfying when you figure out things on your own.
Overall, The Serpent Rogue was not a game for me. I am definitely under a lot of stress lately so that could contribute to my lack of enjoyment with the game. While it wasn’t for me, due to the game feeling too tedious, I can see how others could enjoy the game.